Monday 19 March 2018

Billy Keane: Romance still in the air for newly-wed Brogan but honeymoon is over for Conor O'Shea

Italy manager Conor O'Shea Photo: PA News
Italy manager Conor O'Shea Photo: PA News
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

I'm not long home from the last night of Bernard Brogan's honeymoon. It was at the áras Mhuire Valentine's Ball here in Listowel. Bernard's wife Keira was only gorgeous and declared three wasn't a crowd.

Read on for 'Hello' at the Indo. I know that some of you follow sport to get away from romance. Men who buy loose flowers bound by elastic bands from buckets in garages will not be pleased.

It was only my second honeymoon, all told. The DJ is a farmer and he said he would rock on until it was time to go home to milk the cows.

Brogan outbid my pal George O'Grady for a Munster jersey, signed by the Heineken Cup heroes, and I couldn't help but gulp when I saw Axel's signature. So Bernard not only refused a fee but he ended up giving us money.

Mary McElligott put him in his place though. She's 94 and was out for a jaunt recently from áras Mhuire to the Tralee Wetlands Centre, in a canoe.

"I never followed Brogan," she said in front of 250 people. "The Bomber was always my man."

The Bomber joined Mary in 'The Rose of Tralee'. And there were many present at the ball who declared The Bomber to be a better looking man than Brogan.

The pace was frantic. Liam O'Connor's band could get the dead dancing a graveyard jig. Bernard's cousin Claire Keane sang an Italian love song. Men with weak hearts were evacuated as a precaution.

The song is about a young couple who are refused permission to marry by the girl's father. Maybe her lover didn't have any land. The story ended badly which brings us to the terrible hiding inflicted by Ireland on Italy.

Conor O'Shea must be well worn out and forlorn too from reading stories of gladiators, The Fall of Rome , lions and Christians. Sports writers are hopelessly addicted to history hyperbole.

The Christians could at least take consolation from the fact that they would be fast-tracked to heaven on account of being martyrs and all that, but you would have to wonder if there's any hope for Italy in the life after Saturday. Ireland had the man from the Guinness Book of Records calling for back-up.

Conor O'Shea is a smart coach who gets the best out of his players. But Conor, it would be easier to train ivy up Mount Etna or to unravel spaghetti wearing mittens.

I was told a true story late on at the ball during a particularly lively version of 'The Galway Girl'.

This true story may or may not be fake news. I'll leave that up to you. There's no way I can verify this with the HSE as they are rather busy at the moment trying to explain how it is kids are in constant pain from scoliosis, which I have myself.

The medical story I'm about to tell you now though concerns this poor woman who was clinically obese. She went to the doctor for help. He didn't have a great bedside manner. The doctor was blunt.

"Well missus, you are ten kilos overweight and you will have to eat less."

"I know that doctor," said his patient, "but what else can I do?"

"Get a dog" replied the doctor.

"But doctor," implored the large lady. "I'm too heavy to walk. So why did you tell me to get a dog?"

"So you can give him your dinner," replied the doctor.

I'm not quite sure what relevance or help this story will be to the dog's dinner that is Italy but good luck to you Conor. If anyone can turn around Italy, then you're that man.

The Valentine's Ball was a fundraiser for the adding on of a room in áras Mhuire for acquired brain injury patients. Rose Treacy's brother John suffered a very bad stroke and he is being cared for in the home which really is a home.

Rose wanted to give something back so she sent her husband Pat to Chicago. Pat somehow managed to get himself in to the Irish dressing room after the big win over the All Blacks. Sexton signed the Irish jersey and the rest followed. The green shirt was auctioned off on Saturday night.

And what was the score in Soldier Field? It was Ireland 40, New Zealand 28 which comes to 4,028 and that was the final price paid for the jersey.

Irish Independent

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